AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Shampoo
Director: Hal Ashby (Dir)
Release Date:   Feb 1975
Duration (in mins):  112
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Cast: Warren Beatty  (George [Roundy])
  Julie Christie  (Jackie [Shawn])
  Goldie Hawn  (Jill)
 

Summary: In 1968 Los Angeles, hair stylist George Roundy’s late night romantic tryst with wealthy Felicia Carr is interrupted by a telephone call from George’s actress girlfriend, Jill. Telling Felicia he must visit a sick friend, George hastens to Jill’s house, where she is in the midst of a panic attack after having heard gunshots. George cooks Jill a late night snack and confides that he is nervous about his appointment at the bank for a loan to start his own salon. Jill reflects that she is nearing thirty when it will be too late to have children, then adds that her best friend, Jackie Shawn, does not believe in adding to an over populated world. After spending the rest of the night with Jill, George drives his motorcycle to the bank where he is baffled by vice president R. J. Pettis’s discussion of loan rates. When Pettis asks George for references, he replies that he does the hair of actress Barbara Rush. Realizing that George has no financial references at all, Pettis becomes officious and George departs in anger realizing he will not get the loan. Later, Jill meets with her agent, and film director Johnny Pope about a part. Initially excited about the role, Jill hesitates when Johnny reveals that the film will be shot over several weeks in Egypt. Later, Jill lunches with Jackie, who sympathizes about George. Jackie, who used to date George, reflects that he is too irresponsible and she is more comfortable being involved with Felicia’s older husband, Lester. That afternoon George goes to the salon where he puts off Felicia’s inquiries about the night before. Distracted by the numerous clients around him, George barely acknowledges Jill when she arrives to inquire about the bank interview and to ask if he would mind her taking a job for several weeks in Egypt. Salon owner Norman scolds George for his careless attitude and, frustrated by George’s inattentiveness, Jill leaves. Having overheard their conversation, Felicia asks George about the bank visit and advises him to see Lester for a loan. Although surprised, George agrees and soon after meets Lester in his office. Uncomfortable with a man being a hairdresser, Lester admits that he does not usually invest in small businesses. Moments later, Jackie bursts into the office demanding the key to Lester’s Bel Air house. Although taken aback to see George, Jackie assures Lester that George is a great stylist. Moments later in private, Jackie complains that Lester treats her like a prisoner and he agrees to take her to a party that night to watch the presidential election returns. Lester then asks George to the party and asks if he can escort Jackie as he must go directly from work. In the garage, George confronts Jackie about being with Lester and reproaches her for not having told Lester about their earlier relationship. When Jackie wonders who George has been sleeping with in order to rate an introduction to Lester, he angrily insists that he does not have sex for money but only for fun. When Jackie remains silent, George offers to style her hair. Later that afternoon, George leaves a client at the salon with assistant Ricci when Jackie telephones. At Lester’s Bel Air house, Jackie insists she must look stunning that evening as it is the first time she will be at a party attended by Felicia. Although George refuses to admit it, Jackie quickly deduces that he has slept with Felicia, but is surprised by the resumption of her attraction to George. The couple kisses only to be interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Lester. George pretends to be gay, confirming an earlier suspicion of Lester’s. Meanwhile, still angry with George, Jill agrees to dine with Johnny Pope when he calls. Hastily leaving Jackie’s, George hurries to Felicia’s home to complete her hairstyle for the evening, but finding her absent, chats with her seventeen year-old daughter, Lorna. Suspecting that her mother is having an affair with George, Lorna blatantly asks him if he would like to have sex and George agrees. When Felicia arrives, she ignores the situation and drags George off to her bedroom. Later, at Jill’s, when George reveals that he did not get the bank loan and is unsure if Lester will help, Jill criticizes him for refusing to behave like an adult. Minutes later, George leaves the room and Jill finds an unfamiliar earring where he was sitting. That evening as George and Jackie drive to the party, George admits that he is annoyed that Jill has invited Johnny to the event. Arriving at the party simultaneously, Jill and Johnny, George and Jackie are greeted by Lester, but in his anxiety to act normal around Felicia, he forgets that Jill is Jackie’s best friend. Seeing Felicia approaching, Lester quickly whispers to George to take care of Jackie and to see that she does not drink. After Felicia greets George with a sensuous kiss, he introduces Jackie, prompting Felicia to retreat, overwhelmed by Jackie’s beauty. Disturbed by Lester’s coolness to her and Felicia’s possessiveness of George, Jackie begins drinking while both Jill and Lester advise George to intercede. When the tipsy Jackie makes a scene with George, he decides they should leave. As Lester watches them anxiously, Felicia surprises him by declaring that she has realized he is having an affair with Jackie and warns that she will be expensive. Still assuming that George is gay, Lester is puzzled when Felicia further observes that George will surely try to seduce Jackie. George takes Jackie to a hip party at a wealthy private home filled with young people drinking and taking drugs. Gradually sobering, Jackie admits to George that what annoyed her most about him was not his inability to commit or take care of her, but his constant state of happiness which she found unrealistic. Undaunted George admits that she is the only woman he has ever felt completely comfortable with and can see himself growing old with her, but not Jill. Meanwhile, Lester’s restaurant party is broken up when a small fire forces an evacuation of the building. Abandoned by Felicia who has taken his car, Lester asks for a ride with Jill and Johnny who head to the same private party George and Jackie are attending. While George and Jackie disappear into an empty club house to make love, Jill, Johnny and Lester stroll about the grounds. Invited to a hot tub by a young couple, Lester is directed to the clubhouse for a towel and arrives at the same time as Jill and Johnny. Seeing a couple having sex in the darkness of the clubhouse, all three stare until a refrigerator door pops open, sending a beam of light onto George and Jackie. Outraged, Jill hurls a lawn chair through the double doors and storms away. George rushes after her, then back to Jackie but both women drive away in opposite directions. George then returns to Jill’s house, where he tries in vain to contact Jackie. The following morning, Johnny drops Jill at her home and she tells George that she does not wish to fight. Handing him the earring she discovered the previous day, Jill demands to know how many other women he has been seeing. Uncomfortable, then angry, George admits that he sleeps with women constantly, and admits that being surrounded by women was the motivating force for becoming a hairdresser. After declaring there is no need for him to apologize, George is nevertheless surprised when Jill thanks him for his honesty and asks him to leave. Moments later Johnny telephones to check on Jill. George returns to his small cottage to find Lester and two private security men waiting. Unconcerned, George tells Lester that if he ever listened to Felicia or Jackie he would discover that, like most women, all they are concerned about is how men use them. Feigning indifference to Jackie, Lester calls her a whore, but George insists that she really cares for Lester. The men share a drink and Lester promises to provide George with the money for his shop. Later at the salon, George is unexpectedly shaken when Norman receives news that his son has died in a car accident. Impulsively, George hastens to see Jackie and finds her packed and preparing to go away with Lester. When George refuses to leave, Jackie flees in her car and George chases her to the top of the canyon. As the couple stands overlooking Jackie’s house, they see Lester’s car approaching and George proposes to Jackie. Admitting that Lester has left Felicia and asked her to marry him, Jackie tells George that it is too late. Despite his pleas, Jackie drives back down the hill to Lester and George watches them drive away together. 

Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures
Production Company: Rubeeker Productions, Inc.
Director: Hal Ashby (Dir)
  Art Levinson (1st asst dir)
  Cliff Coleman (1st asst dir)
  Ron Wright (2d asst dir)
Producer: Warren Beatty (Prod)
  Charles H. Maguire (Assoc prod)
Writer: Robert Towne (Wrt)
  Warren Beatty (Wrt)

Subject Major: Beauty shops and hair salons
  Infidelity
  Sex
 
Subject Minor: Actors and actresses
  Automobiles
  Banks
  Dogs
  Drunkenness
  Duplicity
  Husbands
  Idle rich
  Loans
  Los Angeles (CA)--Bel Air
  Mothers and daughters
  Motorcycles
  Parties
  Politicians
  Wives

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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